U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) announced today that he cosponsored the Incentivizing Medicaid Expansion Act of 2019, a bill that will increase the matching funds a state receives when the state expands its Medicaid program.
"The Tennessee state legislature should have expanded Medicaid years ago, but it's better late than never," Rep. Cooper said. "We've turned down billions of dollars, but this is a chance to fix our mistake. This bill would give our state zero excuses not to act now."
In the time that Tennessee has not expanded TennCare, the state Medicaid program, nine rural hospitals have closed, and the uninsured rate has increased by 10% in the last year alone.
The Affordable Care Act required states to expand their Medicaid program in 2014 in order to get the most federal funds possible. This bill removes that requirement, allowing states to receive the enhanced match whenever the state expands. Under the bill, states will receive 100% of the costs covered for the first three years, 95% in year four, 94% in year five, 93% in year six, and 90% thereafter.